This slick documentary on our planet’s growing shortage of oil is a gloomy affair. And rightly so if the principal message of the directors’ chosen talking heads, a mix of industry analysts and politicians, is to be believed: not only are we running out of fuel but we have our heads in the sand when it comes to the cultural, economic and political ramifications of life beyond the ‘peak’. With global demand on crude oil currently at 25 to 30 billion barrels a year and the appetite of new markets such as India and China increasing rapidly, the prognosis is not happy. The film regularly wanders off track to consider, for example, the relation between oil and war, but it’s largely a well-packaged affair that goes the extra mile to find pleasing, and often beautiful, imagery of oil production, from aerial shots of oil fields to film archive that celebrates America’s relationship with the automobile. The film’s plea is simply for awareness; it pins barely any hopes on hydrogen, hybrids, biomass , solar or any other alternative. We’re doomed – and that’s it. A real weepie.
Friday November 9 2007
Basil Gelpke, Ray McCormack